From Eagleton’s new book, On Evil:

“People differ on the question of evil.  A recent poll reported that a belief in sin is highest in Northern Ireland (91 percent), and lowest in Denmark (29 percent).  Nobody with any firsthand acquaintance with that pathologically religious entity known as Northern Ireland (the greater part of Ulster) will be in the least amazed by that first finding.  Ulster Protestants clearly take a dimmer view of human existence than the hedonistic Danes.  One takes it that Danes, like most other people who have been reading the newspapers, do indeed believe in the reality of greed, child pornography, police violence, and the barefaced lies of the pharmaceutical companies.  It is just that they prefer not to call these things sins.  This may be because they think of sin as an offence against God rather than as an offence against other people.  It is not a distinction that the New Testament has much time for” (15).

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